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Pattern insight + emergence

Delving beneath the surface of life at Patternity Studio

SCIENCE

Moorfields Eye Hospital in London makes 1,400 customised, detailed prosthetic eyes every year, each with a unique iris pattern matched to the individual.
Thousands of people annually lose eyes to disease and accidents, and the team carry out a specialised process of casting and shaping and painting prosthetic eyes…

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Saturn’s seasons can be determined by the appearance of it’s rings. On Earth, the solstice is the time when the Earth’s spin axis tilts directly toward the Sun. Since Saturn’s grand rings orbit along the planet’s equator, these rings appear most prominent – when viewed from the direction of the Sun – when the Saturn’s spin axis points toward the Sun. Conversely, when Saturn’s spin axis points to the side, an equinox occurs and the edge-on rings are hard to see. In the featured montage, images of Saturn over the past 11 years have been superposed to show the giant planet passing from southern summer toward northern summer. Although Saturn will only reach its northern summer solstice in 2017 May, the image of Saturn most analogous to today’s Earth solstice is the bottommost one…

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It’s the last chance to experience artist-composer Ryoji Ikeda’s installation Supersymmetry at The Vinyl Factory in London. Ikeda has drawn upon his experiences as artist in resident with CERN, who have been researching the idea of ‘supersymmetry’: a theoretical mathematical model that helps explain why particles have mass.

Mixing data projections and moving representations of particles, Ikeda visualises unseen patterns at an atomic level, immersing visitors in a visceral, multi-sensory experience that begins to unpick some of the bigger questions in mathematics and physics…

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“We live in a world that follows a fixed idea of time, a standard synchronized time held in place by time zones, clocks, and calendars. Instagram users reveal a different idea of time, a richly textured irregular time in which the setting sun and end of the day for one individual is the beginning of the day for another, a never-ending loop.”

All Our Suns is a map visualization of photos tagged #sunset and #sunrise uploaded to Instagram in the past 24 hours and updated in real-time. While Instagram users upload photos of the sunset within 4 hours of the sun setting, many Instagram users wait until the end of the day to reminiscence about the sunrise…

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Master mathematician and origamist Robert Lang shares the underlying principles of the art paper folding in this TED talk, showing that by exploring mathematics through visual forms, new understanding and discoveries can be made.
By uncovering the different crease patterns, Lang highlights the implications of origami in areas like product design, with folded designs being utilised in airbags and valve stents…

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“We are in the midst of a global crisis of perspective. We have forgotten the undeniable truth that every living thing is connected.”

To coincide with International Earth Day, PLANETARY have released a new film exploring Earth and our perspectives of it…

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Ocean Jasper is renowned for forming in unusual and colourful blobs and patches, and is coveted by mineral collectors. Professor of Petrology Bernardo Cesare explored the jasper up close, uncovering microscopic psychedelic explosions and rainbow contours…

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Every year on 12th April, the world unites to celebrate the day in 1961 when the first human entered space; Yuri Gagarin was a Russian cosmonaut whose Vostok Spacecraft orbited the Earth. Since then countless expeditions and investigations into the outer reaches of our atmosphere and beyond have fuelled human innovation and curiosity. Share in PATTERNITY’s continuing fascination with space exploration…

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A mathematician and scientist has described how “brain waves pattern themselves after the rhythms of nature”. Jack Cowan has undertaken research that highlights the similarities in the way that the brain behaves and reacts and the reactions of everyday molecules. His latest findings show that the same mathematical tools physicists use to describe the behaviour of subatomic particles and the dynamics of liquids and solids can now be applied to understanding how the brain generates its various rhythms.
Cowan has also investigated other patterns in the brain, beginning to explain visual hallucinations and how the visual cortex obtained its stripy appearance.

Learn more about Jack Cowan’s research and the patterns that reoccur throughout the living world…

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As a surface dries or comes under stress, seemingly abstract formations of wrinkles occur. Researchers at MIT have come up with a mathematical equation that can predict the patterns these natural contours will take across curved surfaces.

“If you look at skin, there’s a harder layer of tissue, and underneath is a softer layer, and you see these wrinkling patterns that make fingerprints,” says Jörn Dunkel, an assistant professor of mathematics at MIT. “Could you, in principle, predict these patterns? It’s a complicated system, but there seems to be something generic going on, because you see very similar patterns over a huge range of scales.”

Scientists are now able to forecast how varying forces and shapes of surfaces determine the shape of the wrinkles – which range from regular hexagon like formations to swirling labyrinths.

Find out more about their wrinkle based research…

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Microscopic organisms are a source of endless beauty, creating patterned structures and abstract blobs. A group of undergraduate researchers revealed the gruesome yet magnificent forms created by the imprint of their phone in a bacterial growth formula.

University of Surrey senior lecturer in molecular bacteriology, Simon Park noted “it seems that the mobile phone doesn’t just remember telephone numbers, but also harbours a history of our personal and physical contacts such as other people, soil etc”…

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More than 60 years ago, at 1951’s landmark Festival of Britain, the designers involved turned to the sciences for inspiration – looking through the microscope to the patterns that lie beneath the surface.

The Festival was intended to restore Britain’s faith in itself as a productive industrial nation after the ravages of World War Two, to promote better and more practical design in the rebuilding of the country’s towns and cities, and to celebrate innovation in British architecture, design, industry and the arts. More than 8.5 million people visited the Festival’s newly developed main site on London’s South Bank ­– those that came to dine at the event’s Regatta Restaurant would have been exposed to textile and furnishing patterns that came from a hitherto unexplored source: the molecular-scale images of x-ray crystallography…

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Finding similarities between human and animal behaviour isn’t difficult, as many areas of human activity, from social instincts to mating rituals, have clear parallels in the natural world. It’s comparatively unusual, however, for scientists to employ a mathematical model from the human sphere to analyse behaviour in the animal kingdom.

PATTERNITY was therefore interested to uncover news of a research group applying a mathematical model normally used to track fluctuations in the stock market to predict the behaviour of zebrafish shoals…

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Alan Turing may be better known as the father of theoretical computing who cracked the Enigma code, but his interest in the powers of pattern to create and conceal extended to the sciences of chemistry and biology, too. Fascinated by the organic development of regular, repeating patterns in everything from the stripes of a zebra to the fingers of a human, Turing formulated an elegantly simple theory that could potentially explain how stripes, spots, swirls, rings – even limbs and lungs – come to be created by the growing body.

Turing did not live to see his ideas proven, and his concept of two molecules working in an activator-inhibitor relationship to ‘draw’ the patterns of the natural world fell into obscurity for decades after his death. In recent years however, research is beginning to demonstrate that ‘Turing systems’ do indeed play an essential role in striping the zebra and spotting the leopard. The Nazis’ code may turn out not to be the only enigma that Turing solved…

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Everyday chemical reactions have been filmed with a super definition 4K Ultra HD camera, revealing popping spots, swirling clouds and branching growths – pattern formations that occur throughout the universe on both massive and microscopic scales.
Created by Tsinghua University Press and University of Science and Technology of China, and filmed by Yan Liang, ‘Beautiful Chemistry’ brings to life impressive chemical reactions that occur everyday….

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Science relies heavily on seeking and interpreting patterns, allowing us to come to new conclusions and allow innovation to occur.
Today we celebrate UN World Science Day for Peace and Development, recognising the positive power of science and new discoveries in creating a healthier, more efficient, and more informed world.

Here PATTERNITY selects some our favourite scientific pattern innovations and discoveries, from the nano patterns in our bodies to the macro patterns of the universe…

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We can now view life in its most minute form thanks to Nobel Prize winning ‘nanoscope technology’. This year’s prestigious Nobel Prize for Chemistry has been awarded to three scientists – Eric Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical institute in Ashburn, Virginia, William “W. E.” Moerner of Stanford University in California, and Stefan Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany – for their development of this super-resolved fluorescence microscopy technology, which allows investigation of the tiniest of cells and scientific actions…

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